Mermaid Parade

. Amabie アマビエ .

Mermaid Parade

***** Location: Coney Island, N.Y., USA
***** Season: Summer
***** Category: Observance


The Mermaid Parade is an annual Coney Island event where people dress up as mermaids and other creatures. It happens in late June, and is being threatened by impending gentrification of Coney Island.

Judy Kamilhor


The Mermaid Parade is a completely original creation that is that nation's largest art parade and one of New York City's greatest summer events.

Founded in 1983 by Coney Island USA, the not-for-profit arts organization that also produces the Coney island Circus Sideshow, the Mermaid Parade pays homage to Coney Island's forgotten Mardi Gras which lasted from 1903 to 1954, and draws from a host of other sources resulting in a wonderful and wacky event that is unique to Coney Island.

The Mermaid Parade celebrates the sand, the sea, the salt air and the beginning of summer, as well as the history and mythology of Coney Island, Coney Island pride, and artistic self-expression. The Parade is characterized by participants dressed in hand-made costumes as Mermaids, Neptunes, various sea creatures, the occasional wandering lighthouse, Coney Island post card or amusement ride, as well as antique cars, marching bands, drill teams, and the odd yacht pulled on flatbed.

Each year, a different celebrity King Neptune and Queen Mermaid rule over the proceedings, riding in the Parade and assisting in the opening of the Ocean for the summer swimming season by marching down the Beach from the Boardwalk, cutting through Ribbons representing the seasons, and tossing fruit into the Atlantic to appease the Sea Gods. In the past, David Byrne, Queen Latifah, Ron Kuby, Curtis Sliwa, Moby and Theo have graced our shores, presiding over the assembled masses.

Read about the 2004 Mermaid Parade

2005 Mermaid Parade

2005 Parade Photo Galleries

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

The Littel Mermaid
by Hans Chritsian Andersen

Far out in the ocean, where the water is as blue as the prettiest cornflower, and as clear as crystal, it is very, very deep; so deep, indeed, that no cable could fathom it: many church steeples, piled one upon another, would not reach from the ground beneath to the surface of the water above. There dwell the Sea King and his subjects. We must not imagine that there is nothing at the bottom of the sea but bare yellow sand. No, indeed; the most singular flowers and plants grow there; the leaves and stems of which are so pliant, that the slightest agitation of the water causes them to stir as if they had life.

Fishes, both large and small, glide between the branches, as birds fly among the trees here upon land. In the deepest spot of all, stands the castle of the Sea King. Its walls are built of coral, and the long, gothic windows are of the clearest amber. The roof is formed of shells, that open and close as the water flows over them. Their appearance is very beautiful, for in each lies a glittering pearl, which would be fit for the diadem of a queen.

Copyright © Zvi Har’El

Read the rest of this long story here:
The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen


The Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen

The Little Mermaid was a present from brewer Carl Jacobsen (The Carlsberg Breweries) to Copenhagen, and was made by a little known sculptor called Edvard Erichsen. She was unveiled at Langelinje in 1913, as part of a general trend in Copenhagen in those days, which demanded that classical and historic figures be used as decoration in the city's parks and public areas.

In 1909, brewer Carl Jacobsen saw solo dancer Ellen Price dance in Fini Henriques' ballet "The Little Mermaid" at the Royal Theatre. He was so taken with her that he asked her if she would pose for a sculptor. She agreed in principle, but was not very interested in posing in the nude, when she found out just how publicly the statue would be placed. So Edvard Erichsens wife stepped in and modeled for the body. On September 14, 1912, the statue was first test positioned at its location, and on August 23, 1913, it was placed at its permanent location.

Copyright © Hans-Henrik T. Ohlsen

Look at some more photos here:


Coney Island
after the Mermaid Parade:
apocalypse, sequins

Judy Kamilhor, 2005


mermaid parade!
coney island ushers in
a new summer

Carol Raisfeld

Related words

***** Manatee North America


. - yookai, yōkai 妖怪 Yokai monsters - - Introduction .

- quote -
Amabie (アマビエ)
is a legendary Japanese mermaid who allegedly emerges from the sea and prophesies either an abundant harvest or an epidemic. There are other mermaids and mermen known by other names but considered identical. The male amabiko (アマビコ, 天日子) or amahiko (尼彦, あま彦, 天彦), the amahiko-nyūdo (尼彦入道), and the elusive arie (アリエ).

CLICK for more photos !

- Legend
Amabie appeared in Higo Province (Kumamoto Prefecture) according to legend, around the middle of the 4th month, in the year Kōka-3 (mid-May, 1846) in the Edo era. A glowing object had been spotted in the sea, almost on a nightly basis. The town's official went to the coast to investigate, and witnessed the amabie. She had a mouth like bird's bill, and was covered in scales from the neck down. Addressing the official, she identified herself as an amabie and told him that she lived in the open sea. She went on to deliver a prophecy: "Good harvest will continue for six years, if disease spreads show a picture of me to those who fall ill and they will be cured." Afterwards, she returned the sea. The story was printed in the kawaraban (ja) (woodblock-printed bulletins), where her likeness was printed, and this is how the story disseminated in Japan.

- Similar yōkai
A yōkai creature considered identical to Amabie is the merman named Amahiko (尼彦?), which reputedly appeared in the sea of Higo Province. This Amahiko resembled Amabie in that it also made predictions of bountiful harvests or pestilence, and prescribed displaying the picture of his likeness in order to avoid catastrophe. The Amahiko Nyūdo (尼彦入道 "the amahiko monk"?) of Hyuga Province (Miyazaki prefecture) was another creature considered of the same kind, who appeared and pronounced his prophecy.

A similar creature named Arie (アリエ) appeared in "Aoshima-gun" county, Higo Province, according to the Yamanashi Nichinichi Shinbun (ja) newspaper dated 17 June 1876, although this report has been debunked by another paper.[a] The Yūbin Hōchi Shinbun (ja) dated 10 June 1876 also carried an article about Amahiko.

The three creatures share these common characteristics: 1) appearance from the sea, 2) prediction of good harvest and the plague, and 3) a solution of disaster by showing the apparition's picture, and on that account have been considered identical.

The Amahiko no Mikoto (天日子尊 the holly Amahiko) was spotted in a rice paddy in Yuzawa, Niigata, as reported by the Tokyo Nichinichi shinbun (ja) dated 8 August 1875. The yamawarawa (山童 the mountain child- Kappa) in the folklore of Amakusa is believed to haunt the mountains. Although neither of these last two emerge from sea, other similarities such as prophesying indicate they belong to the same kind.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Amabie アマビエ .


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1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

Amabie (アマビエ)

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